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"A New Breed Of Business Development" - Futurlab Praise Sony's Approach To Indie

Matt Gardner
Futurlab, Indie games Indie devs, PS Plus, PS Vita games, Sony, Velocity Ultra

"A New Breed Of Business Development" - Futurlab Praise Sony's Approach To Indie

The developers at Futurlab, who brought us Coconut Dodge and the excellent Velocity, have extolled Sony's virtues in a recent interview, charting their progression from a small team beavering away in the PlayStation Minis programme to full releases on PS3 and Vita.

It's a journey, they say, that couldn't have been done without Shahid Ahmad and his team at Sony Strategic Content.

"They have been really nice to us, they are really, really good to work with," said Futurlab co-founder Kirsty Rigden, speaking with GamesIndustry. "They take the biggest risks, don't they?"

"I am a self confessed Sony fan boy," added fellow co-founder James Marsden, before saying, "Fan boy is quite a negative connotation, I am a loyal supporter. It is just because, the games, the kind of games I enjoy playing are on PlayStation.

"They take risks creatively, Journey is a great example, it was Jenova Chen that got me into pursuing Sony, working with Sony in a big way, because he was supported straight out of university. With that support he was able to go forward and challenge conventions, make a game about wind and petals, you know? By a company that is considered hardcore, and then Journey - which has been the best game for them PSN."

Futurlab started out with Minis title Coconut Dodge, and it was Ahmad who pushed them forward into Playstation Mobile and then onto Vita with HD versions of Dodge and Velocity.

"Shahid and his department are a new breed of business development," Marsden stated, with Rigden expanding upon his point:

"I think, ironically, when you don't make someone exclusive, they kind of...well I sort of feel like we don't feel like we have to work with them, it's our choice to want to work with them. So it kind of works in their favour as well. We really appreciate and like what they are doing, we like their attitude to things and therefore we want to continue to work with people with that attitude.

"Shahid calls it 'support, steer, don't interfere', says Marsden, grimacing good-naturedly at the cheesy slogan. "That is his little phrase, and that is exactly what they do. But, yes, we are independent. We would like to be more financially independent, hopefully that will come with sales of our game. But, for the moment we are working with Sony, and we are quite happy working with Sony. We are really excited to be working on the PS4 and there other platforms out there. I see Sony as really investing in the medium in a big way, I don't see that happening anywhere else, really."

And then there's PS Plus...

"They come to you with a deal," said Rigden. "They say, we'll give you this much money if we can have the game for free, or exclusive, or money off, or a combination. There are a lot of different ways you can do it. The amount of money that they'll suggest will be relevant to the package."

"They call it a guaranteed sales buyout," Marsden added. "It's like looking at guaranteed downloads - you discuss a deal up front and decide if it's worth it. For us it was less about money and more about exposure, especially with a sequel coming."

Read the full thing here.

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